ANOTHER DIMENSION 2: WORLDS COLLIDE
1. THE COUNCIL OF HEROES
Broly raised his head and gave Son Goku an imploring look. The hero was, however, intransigent. He stared hard at Broly, impatiently waiting for him to depart. Broly rose and turned around shyly, moving back towards Galactus. None of the heroes stirred for they all stood behind Son Goku who was their spokesman in this case. Nevertheless, their attitude enraged Galactus and he drew closer and said.
Galactus: “Nootra, is this what your civilization has become - one man speaking for your entire city? You’re violating the essence of what your forefathers left when they built this civilization. I was present when Captain Universe and his peers took every risk to make this city stand on justice and love. This inevitably meant collaborating with people who had harmed them and those who even posed a danger to them. They did so because they stood on the faith that the evil would see the goodness of the good and transform into good. This trust was perilous to some yet they refused to allow fear or revenge to obstruct the revolution they were bringing to the world.
’Your forefathers were persuaded Nootra was the new world they were building; and so they went where man refused to go. They forgave enemies and embraced former detractors because they believed only challenging steps like those could change this world into good. That was the dream of Captain Universe your first Captain Nootra. He passed this dream to you so that you should live according to this lifestyle and spread it, not only over this galaxy but over the entire universe. Have you forgotten already that it isn’t about your planet or about you, your personal ambitions and dreams? Remember, it’s about man, whosoever he is, villain or hero, Nootran or Saiyan, Kryptonian[xviii] or Aegelist.
’There’s yet one pertinent thing you stubborn Nootrans aren’t taking into account. The Supreme Fighter is at the door of our galaxy with the Ablom. I saw what he did to the seventh galaxy and I promise you Kainos isn’t joking when he talks of conquering the universe. Take him lightly and you’ll take this entire galaxy to perdition through the resistance you’re thinking of raising against him. Ablom is the emperor of a dimension of eight galaxies of a thousand planets, and his resources are limitless. He’s doing the opposite of what Captain Universe did with this expedition of conquering the worlds; and now that he’s Supreme Fighter, don’t think your secret force will stand a chance against him.
’Are there not some wise ones among you: Superman, Piccolo, Prime, J’onzz and especially you Captain Nootra, whose heart has the same cravings as those of your ancestor Captain Universe? As long as you’re here, the dream of your fathers will continue to flourish for you’re the reincarnation of the one who first embodied this dream. Do you now leave your responsibilities to others and let little Goku make that decision when it’s your place to do so? I advise you to forgive Broly and accept him as your own. Accepting him will also mean accepting me, and you’ll have the two most powerful fighters of the galaxy on your side. Captain, I adjure you to speak for your city. If you inherited the Nootra Shield, then you know what it stands for and you know what to do in this case. I have finished and I await your response, Captain?”
Captain Nootra kept his eyes on Galactus while he spoke and when he finished, he looked at Broly who was standing some distance away from Galactus. Then he turned around and faced the Council for he couldn’t speak without consulting the heroes. He asked Galactus to give him time before he delivered his answer and raising the Nootra Shield, he opened a force field, which shielded him and his peers for a briefing. Son Goku had drifted further away from the rest and he wasn’t taken under the influence of the shield. He was standing there aloof and he wouldn’t remove his eyes from Broly. Storm came to him and asked him to join his comrades.
Storm: “Goku, don’t allow any external thing to change the man you are. Don’t let them dominate you and make you another. You are who you are and it’s not from the outside that you shall be influenced. Come; Nootra is calling and we must listen to her.”
Son Goku: “I have expressed myself already; Nootra knows my position. I won’t be off my guard until these two are out of here.”
On seeing the restlessness of his companion, Iron Man took some security measures and came to reassure him.
Iron Man: “They won’t attempt anything while we’ll be in Council. I’ve created a perimeter and posted my armours all over the place. They’ll report immediately they pick something. Those two won’t succeed if they try to trick us in any way. Let’s get in and sort this out together.”
Son Goku listened to Iron Man and with Storm, they joined their fellows in the force field. J’onn J’onzz enabled the satellite and they talked with those who were in the city.
J’onn J’onzz: “Headquarters, have you followed us up till now? Now we’ve entered the Council. You can commence Captain.”
Captain Nootra: “Son Goku spoke for all of us but everyone’s opinion must be heard. What I’m asking from you is honesty. We’re comrades yet as much as we differ from each other, so our opinions vary. We were taught from childhood that we may have different opinions, tastes or beliefs yet we don’t cease to be one people. What we stick to is our oneness and not our differences. Only one decision will be taken at the end of the day and we will all abide by it because we’re acting as a single body. Yet everyone must voice their thoughts. J’onn, what’s your stance?”
J’onn J’onzz: “I think Broly is sincere when he says he has changed. I read from his mind and it was so. Yet that’s not what is at stake. The question is, are we ready to live with someone who tried to annihilate our people on three occasions?”
Superman: “Galactus talked of our ancestors wanting this city open to everyone. He was right about that. Still, they were not faced with a trial as this. I believe each generation has its own challenges and they make a landmark by the way they react to that unique test to which they have no reference. Even if there had been a case like this before, it isn’t this one since everything here differs from its antecedent. We’ll have to decide on our own respect and not to refer to the past. The future shall see what we did and appreciate from their own perspective, whether it was noble or not. Personally, I have nothing to say here. I may be Superman but sometimes, not even Superman has the answer to the world’s problems.”
Invisible Woman: “Shall we betray one of us to practice what we say our ancestors left? If we fail to take a decision ourselves and lean on what we think our ancestors would want, won’t we be instituting a law and practicing an idea without giving our own appreciation? That’s the very thing our ancestors sought to avoid. We’re the people present now and we’re the ones to make that decision and not rely on what we may erroneously think our ancestors wanted. The spirit of Nootra is in us and we’re this civilization.”
Storm: “I’m with Susan. Our civilization was never founded on concepts, narrated in the form of words. Our civilization was based on people who lived a superior life. Our ancestors left us this civilization and we’re living it by developing every facet of its values. We don’t rely on the past but on people who live justice and love. What is love in this case? What is justice here? If we answer these questions honestly, I believe whatever we shall decide today will go in line with what our civilization stands for and expose a new aspect of its beauty. It will prove we’re not living for values, which are all abstract ideas, but we’re living for people.”
Iron Man: “Ororo’s point is pertinent and to emphasize that, I say this civilization is nothing but us, the people living it. Civilization is only a word, those values are concepts and the past is a memory; only the present is reality. We don’t trust in something, we trust in people and we here present are this civilization. In reality, this civilization in itself has no values; the people who live these values are those who give substance to this civilization. I say, we don’t depend on what our ancestors did. We do what we think is good for the people of Nootra.”
Batman: “Heroes, if truly Broly has changed as J’onn confirmed, I don’t see why he shouldn’t join us. Apart from being a villain, nothing can prevent anyone from being a hero of Nootra. You take things too personally when we’re supposed to be objective in this case. We’re presently in a crisis with the Ablom posted at the entrance of our galaxy. It’s the same warship that subjugated the seventh galaxy, the largest of our dimension. To have a chance to stand against it, we need the best elements wherever we can get them. Agents, a world is coming against us and no other but the strongest. We must let go of personal grudges and see what would be most profitable to our people. Goku, you too have to see things in this light.”
Son Goku: “You’re free to express your opinion Batman and what you say is logical as always. Yet I refuse to forgive Broly. Whatever Nootra decides to do, that will be it. I have stated my stand and you won’t make me change my mind.”
Wonder Woman: “We shouldn’t be speaking in the conditional. The reality is, we’re all here and alive. Yes; Broly threatened us in the past but he didn’t succeed. Maybe it was for this reason we had to fight him these many times, so he may help us save our galaxy from the Supreme Fighter.”
Cyclops: “We’re not going to split into parties because of someone who tried to annihilate us on various occasions. Goku, I understand you. You suffered the most from Broly’s three attacks. Your sons, Goten and Gohan, almost lost their lives in those attacks. That’s why I ask each of us to say whether we take in Broly or not. What the Council decides to do in the end, everyone must abide by it.”
Optimus Prime: “I don’t like this issue of voting; it’s never good. Since we must reach an agreement that will go against the desires of some, I suggest Captain Nootra takes the decision in our place. Captain, you inherited the will of our ancestors and we trust you. I’m convinced whatever you decide will be good for our people and civilization. Anybody objects?”
Charles Xavier : “I approve that Prime. It’s the only way to solve this case.”
Jean Grey: “Cap, you’re choosing for us.”
The Council unanimously agreed to let Captain Nootra, their ancestral figure, decide for them. He was the one who wielded the Nootra Shield, first brandished by Captain Universe, the patriarch of the city. He had his spirit and the heroes believed that would guide him to do what was right. However, Captain Nootra didn’t like that the final decision came back to him. He had tried to shift his responsibilities onto others but as Galactus said, it was a decision he alone had to take. He was afraid for he remembered having taken a decision once, which turned out his worst nightmare. Yet he couldn’t allow that failure to hinder him forever. He looked at Batman and like in other cases, he wanted him to remove him from there. Yet he knew it wasn’t what Batman wanted that he had to say but what he considered right. His peers encouraged him on this one.
Thor: “We trust you Captain.”
Wolverine: “Don’t pressure him bob. Kid, responsibilities require you to be at the helm always.”
Piccolo: “Be confident Nootra. Whatever you’ll settle on, it shall be the right thing.”
After these words from his best friend and two of his masters, Captain Nootra closed his eyes and entered a minute’s meditation where he considered everything revolving around that case. When he opened his eyes again, he spoke without hesitation, and affirmed his verdict.
Captain Nootra: “Son Goku is the one who defended us the three times Broly attacked Nootra. If it were not for him, we wouldn’t be here presently. Our civilization asks us to receive everyone but if we had been wiped out, there would be none to receive anyone. I, Captain Nootra, speaking from my deepest convictions and with the most sincere love for my people and my faithfulness to Nootra, I say we do as Goku says. He saved Nootra and if he doesn’t want Broly in, Nootra too doesn’t want him. We’re not letting down our own, be they citizens or heroes.
’This civilization doesn’t only mean accepting people who are willing to be part of us; it also means being loyal to every single one among us. We don’t forsake our own. It would be treason if we welcomed Broly and go against the expressed will of the one who fought for us at the peril of his life. Heroes, the sons of Goku, Gohan and Goten, are the ones Broly threatened. Son Goku was still the one who cast out the menace. Though some may want to fight alongside Broly and though he may be an asset, we refrain from him. If Broly has to be one of us, it will happen when Goku accepts him. As for the Supreme Fighter, what’s certain is that he will be defeated. The Agape won’t let the enemy erase this civilization. This is His city. He gave us the Nootra Shield so we’re bound to win all of our battles, with or without Broly. This is Nootra’s response to Broly’s request.”
The answer of Captain Nootra settled the matter. It closed all debates and put the heroes in one accord. He united them all with the enlightenment he brought to that issue and they knew that was the answer. When the Council adjourned, Captain Nootra suspended the force field and the Council once again met the two most redoubtable fighters of their world. Captain Nootra gave this answer to Broly.
Captain Nootra: “Broly, we stand by Son Goku and decline your request. We’re sorry but after what you did to our world, we can’t make you one of us. We recognize that you’ve changed; the reason why we trust you’ll understand this. You are transformed into good and we praise you. Spread this good you have received everywhere. Broly, you find family, friendship and live in happiness; life is good to you. Broly, you find people who accept you. This is our blessing to you and it is so. Now we’re obliged to ask you and Galactus to leave this space sector.”
Broly was disappointed on hearing the ruling of Captain Nootra. He turned to Son Goku and pleaded with a dejected visage and eyes full of tears but Goku turned his look away, having promised to himself not to reverse the case of Broly by feeling pity for him. Broly looked at the other agents and there was such resoluteness on their faces that he turned around and walked away. He moved to Galactus and asked that they leave. Galactus was angry about the Council’s response and he wanted to speak but Broly stopped him. He jumped on Galactus’ shoulder and this one retraced his steps. They flew away from Nootra’s influence under the unyielding gaze of the heroes. Yet though their outward expression showed intransigence, the hearts of the heroes smote them inwardly for it was the first time they rejected a man who wanted to join them. They returned to the city and on their minds was the dejected visage of Broly when they gave him that answer, the cruellest that could be given to a man: No.
[i] Broly, the Legendary Super Saiyan, makes his debut in Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan (1993, 2003) by Akira Toriyama, Takao Koyama and Shigeyasu Yamauchi. Dragon Ball Z: Broly, the Legendary Super Saiyan is the eighth Dragon Ball Z feature movie. Legendary Super Saiyan is a Saiyan transformation mode.
[ii] Son Goku (Kakarot), Bulma, Vegeta, Piccolo, Son Gohan, Son Goten, and Trunks appear in Dragon Ball (1984-1997), Dragon Ball Z (DBZ) (1989-1996) and Dragon Ball GT (1996-1997). Dragon Ball is a manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 to 1995, with the 519 individual chapters published into 42 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. NSF refers to Nootra Security Force.
[iii] Superman (Kal-El Kent, the Man of Steel) is a superhero in publications by DC Comics. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster in 1932 and sold to Detective Comics, Inc. in 1938, he first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938). The Man of Steel is a 1986 comic book limited series featuring the DC Comics Superman. It was written and drawn by John Byrne and inked by Dick Giordano.
[iv] Ms. Marvel is the name of several super heroes appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Carol Danvers, the first to use the moniker Ms. Marvel, first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March 1968) by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gene Colan. Danvers surfaces as Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel #1 (Jan. 1977).
[v] J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, is a superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics. Created by writer Joseph Samachson and artist Joe Certa, she first appeared in Detective Comics #225 (Nov.1955).
[vi] Iron Man (‘Tony’ Stark) is a superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe. He was created by Stan Lee, developed by Larry Lieber, and designed by Don Heck and Jack Kirby. He first appeared in Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963).
[vii] Invisible Woman (Susan Storm), Mr Fantastic (Reed Richard), Human Torch (Johnny Storm), and The Thing (Ben Grimm) form The Fantastic Four, a superhero team appearing in comic books by Marvel Comics. The group debuted in The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961) and was the first superhero team created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
[viii] Optimus Prime and Ironhide appear in The Transformers. Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots, a faction of transforming robots from Cybertron. The Transformers (1984) is an animated television series by Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions depicting a war among giant robots. The entire series was based upon the line of transforming toys originally created by Takara, which were developed into the Transformers line by Hasbro.
[ix] Cyclops (Scott Summers), Storm (Ororo), Jean Grey (Red), Wolverine (Logan) are the X-Men, a superhero team founded by Professor Charles Xavier in the Marvel Comics Universe. The group was created by wStan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first appeared in The X-Men #1 (Sep. 1963).
[x] Batman (Bruce Wayne, the Dark Knight, the world’s greatest detective) is a superhero created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. He first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics.
[xi] Thor (the son of Odin, the Asgardian) is a superhero in Marvel Comics’ publications. He first appears in Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962) and was created by plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller Jack Kirby.
[xii] Green Lantern is the shared primary alias of several superheroes appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The first Green Lantern (Alan Scott) was created by Bill Finger and Martin Nodell and first appeared in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940).
[xiii] Wonder Woman is a superhero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. She was created by William Moulton Marston and first appeared in All Star Comics #8 (Dec. 1941).
[xiv] Galactus (the planet devourer) is a super villain in publications by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, he debuted in Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966), the first of a three-issue story later known as ‘The Galactus Trilogy’.
[xv] Super Saiyan is an advanced transformation assumed by extraordinarily powerful members of the Saiyan race in the Dragon Ball franchise. Saiyan refers to a warrior race in Dragon Ball.
[xvi] Megatron appears in The Transformers. He is the primary antagonist and leader of the Decepticons, in most of the various Transformers universes.
[xvii] Magneto (Magnus, Eric) appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is the central villain of the X-Men comics. He first appears in X-Men #1 (Sept. 1963), and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.
[xviii] Kryptonian refers to Superman. Kryptonians are an extraterrestrial race within the DC Comics universe that originated on planet Krypton. The term originated from the stories of DC Comics superhero, Superman. Kryptonian to refer to anything created by or associated with the planet itself or the culture that existed on it. The term is first used in Action Comics #1 (June 1938) and was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.